Drones in Hawai‘i have become the newest and hottest devices to advance tourism and science through hi-tech imagery. Although, they may be beneficial in some aspects, drones have also become intrusive to privacy and even hazardous to aircrafts.

A lot of them have permits in Hawai‘i for tourism and science purposes, but they should strictly stay in the relevant areas. It’s wrong when drones fly in people’s private spaces. Keeping them restricted from homes and aircrafts is necessary and intruding private spaces does not further science or tourism.

Invasive and dangerous

Drones for ‘personal use and tourism,’ have gone too far. On Aug. 11, Hawaii News Now reported that a woman was disturbed by a drone outside her bedroom in Hawai‘i Kai. In an unalarmed fashion, the Honolulu Police Department said no crime was committed.

Invasion of privacy, however, should not be taken lightly. It was no surprise HPD was lax, considering that drone laws are not as stringent as they should be. Earlier this year, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed stricter drone flight-height regulations and laws on use.

Drones have not only invaded privacy but have been hazardous to aircrafts – NBC News reported that drones disrupted operations during fires and airplanes in California. According to FAA, drones were unauthorized and illegal to fly close to aircrafts.   

For science only

FAA accredited drone services in Hawai‘i offer personal and businesses uses. That is positive for Hawai‘i as it enhances our economy and science through imagery and mapping. Such services even hold the promise of future jobs. Without drones, people would not be able to capture images for surveillance, emergency response, natural disasters and aerial archaeology and photography.

After reading one of the accredited companies’ business mission, one can’t help but think that drones are great for Hawai‘i. There are always, however, loopholes to business missions. Drone permits are given to ‘enthusiasts’ and those enthusiasts can be right outside one’s bedroom window. This is why these people should pass a test, get a permit and follow strict fly zone regulations away from private spaces and airports.

I don’t see the positivity of advancing imagery nor science by stalking someone or flying outside his or her bedroom window. It’s disturbing. Since laws remain lenient, these types of incidents will keep happening. The solution is to have stricter regulations through FAA and state laws.